Kapiti Observer : July 28th 2011
Your community partner for more than 60 years THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 IN BRIEF Otaki upgrade stalls, page 3 Learning to fly, page 14 Got milk for these, page 5 INSIDE Metal scavenging A train has crashed into a trailer loaded with metal being stolen from railway lines. The collision near MacKays crossing at 1.58am on Wednesday left the freight train with minor damage, and shunted the trailer some distance along the tracks. Tranz Metro manager Scott Brooks said the trailer was loaded with balance weights stolen from overhead lines while power was down. ''It is likely the intention would have been to sell the balance weights for scrap metal. ''The removal of the balance weights would have taken some effort to retrieve.'' He said such thefts were infrequent but do happen. A car was seen fleeing the scene and police investigations are continuing. Editorial (04) 298 5019 -- Advertising (04) 298 5019 -- Fax (04) 298 2073 -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- www.kapitiobserver.co.nz OUR DAY IN THE SNOW Snow Slide: Sisters Petra, back, 10, and Charissa Bishop, 8, play together on a body board toboggan on a steep hillside on the Maungakotukutuku Rd. By KAROLINE TUCKEY Rare 30-year dusting hits Kapiti Kapiti towns were dusted with snow on Monday as the district was hit by a once-in-a- generation weather event. The heavy dusting started in the early hours of Monday, building up on hill tops from Paekakariki to Otaki overnight, with reports of snow falling in Paraparaumu and Waikanae at mid-afternoon. MetService spokesman Gerard Bellam said the snow was triggered by very cold temperatures from an unusually severe southerly outbreak of air from deep in Antarctica sweeping over New Zealand. With this one the air s come up from a long way south, lower than it would normally, and it s come straight off the ranges, so it s not been watered by travel- ling over the sea. The conditions were probably aonceina20or30yearevent. More photos page 7 Tennis court access turns into legal row Council locked in legal discussion over gaining free public access to its own reserve property. By KAROLINE TUCKEY The council has spent $79,000 upgrading tennis club courts -- that it now owns -- for which the club is reluctant to allow free pub- lic access. Both the Paekakariki Tennis Club and Kapiti Coast District Council believe they have the right to set fees at the courts and are at loggerheads over whether casual users should be charged. Club president Joan Hilder said before the facilities and courts were gifted to the council last year, the club stipulated it was opposed to free public access -- and free public access was not part of the legal deed. Discussions with mayor Jenny Rowan and staff have been unsuc- cessful, and Mrs Hilder says the club s lawyer will now be carrying on negotiations on their behalf. Ms Rowan would only answer questions directed through council communications staff but did not respond by press time. Since taking over the premises, the council has upgraded the ten- nis courts with new Astroturf and fencing, costing $79,000. It also spent $39,000 renovating the clubhouse to house the Paekakariki Community Library. Council leisure and open space asset manager Lex Bartlett admitted the deed of gift does not specify public access would be free. However, the council resolution to accept the gift did, and unpaid public access had been part of the arrangement with the club before a deed was signed. The deed does give the council the ability to set any fees or decide on no fees, and the issue is simply a misunderstanding by the club, he said. The 2008 offer by the club included gifting the club rooms and land to the council on the condition the land become a recreation reserve -- the tennis courts and facilities would be maintained by the council and administered through the club. Mr Bartlett is not aware of any- one complaining about being charged for use of the courts. I hope it should be a straight- forward issue [to resolve], and as far as council are concerned we want to encourage growth of the club, but also public use of the courts. Mr Bartlett said casual players were not currently being charged -- but as the Observer went to press, there was only a single sign up at the courts directing casual users to a phone number for court hireage . Meanwhile, Mrs Hilder said since the courts were reopened there have been no casual users, since everyone who has approached the club to use the courts has chosen to join instead. Membership costs $35 a year and $8 for a key, and since the gifting agreement the club s mem- bership has doubled. The club has about 80 senior members, and popular children s coaching sessions, she says. Free use of the courts could be a disincentive to pay to join the club, while there were also con- cerns since history shows that people don t take the same care of things that cost them nothing .
July 25th 2011
August 1st 2011